SENATE PASSES BUDGET
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – The Connecticut Senate has overwhelmingly passed a two-year bipartisan state budget crafted by legislative leaders. The Senate voted 33-3 in favor of the roughly $41 billion plan early Thursday morning. The House of Representatives was scheduled to vote later in the day on the same package. The budget bill was expected to clear the House. It remains unclear whether Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy will sign the bill into law. Both Democratic and Republican senators are noting how the agreement doesn’t make everyone happy, but could finally end the long budget stalemate and help address some of Connecticut’s long-standing financial problems. Connecticut has been without a budget in place since the fiscal year began July 1. Malloy has been running the state using his limited executive spending authority.
Electric Boat lost out recently on a contract. The Navy awarded the $60 million planning contract on Oct. 16th to Newport News Shipbuilding. If all options are exercised, the contract could be valued at $385.6 million. EB officials have said that getting these large maintenance jobs is crucial to sustaining its workforce during valleys in its work. EB had hoped to win the contract to do the overhaul work on the Boise, a Los Angeles class-attack submarine. An estimated 600 EB employees would have worked on the Boise.
Calling it a change of plans, the Gales Ferry Library will now remain open. Ledyard Mayor Fred Allyn III says library director Gale Bradbury is working on a cost savings plan that will cut hours and part-time staff at both libraries in town. The mayor has asked Bradbury to come back to him on Friday to present a new operating schedule with $115,000 to $120,000 in annual savings. Bradbury thinks that is achievable.
SCAMMER GETS LESS THAN A YEAR
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) – Federal prosecutors say a man will spend less than a year in prison for his role in an insurance scam involving staged car crashes in eastern Connecticut. Jonas Joseph was sentenced Wednesday in New Haven federal court to eight months behind bars. Joseph was convicted in June of charges he was involved in six bogus accidents between March 2013 and February 2014, which resulted in a total loss to insurance companies of more than $95,000. Prosecutors say he was part of a group that staged more than 50 crashes dating back to 2011. They say most of the crashes were single-vehicle wrecks on remote roads, where the drivers would hit a tree or other object and then leave the scene while the policyholder entered the vehicle and called for help.
GRISWOLD BANS FRACKING WASTE
Griswold is joining 20 other Connecticut towns to ban fracking waste. About 55 residents voted unanimously in favor of the ordinance at a special town meeting. The new ordinance will prohibit the storage, disposal or use of waste from oil and gas exploration or extraction, in the town of Griswold, including Jewett City.
RED BARN GOING UP
A 1:00 p.m. groundbreaking ceremony will be held on Friday at the iconic Red Barn on Montauk Avenue in New London as reconstruction begins. The college is tearing down and re-creating the 4,800-square-foot structure. The red barn next to Michael’s Dairy will be transformed into a black box theater, classroom, banquet facility, student activity space and event space for community use. The new barn is expected to be completed by spring.
UNITED WAY PITCHES IN
The Connecticut chapter of the American Red Cross is receiving $25,000 from United Way of Southeastern Connecticut. Virginia Mason, president and CEO of United Way of Southeastern Connecticut, said United Way in New London County is proud to send additional funds to disaster relief for those who are struggling from recent hurricanes, fires and earthquakes. As of October 16th, almost $60 million dollars has been donated to recovery efforts.